You can now listen to SiriusXM through Alexa on devices like the Amazon Echo and Fire TV

SiriusXM, the satellite radio network, has just released a new Alexa Skill that allows you to listen to the service’s radio stations through Alexa. Even though this is an Alexa skill, accessing SiriusXM stations is similar to accessing music through service’s like Spotify or Pandora. Once you have the Alexa skill enabled, which you can do by saying “Alexa, enable SiriusXM,” and configured your login credentials through the Alexa app, you can then ask “Alexa, play [station name] on SiriusXM” to start listening to a station. Read more ›

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You might have Amazon eBook credit that is expiring this week

In 2016, a federal court antitrust lawsuit settlement against Apple ordered them to refund portions of eBook purchases that occurred between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. Those refund credits are set to expire in a few days on June 24. To see if you have any credit left on Amazon, simply check this page. Your available credit will be listed below the paragraphs at the top.

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Amazon now offering $3 credit for No-Rush Shipping incentive

Those of you who are Prime members are probably familiar with Amazon’s No-Rush shipping incentives. They offer you a perk for selecting a slower shipping options instead of the free 2-day shipping that comes with being a Prime member. Those perks are most commonly $1 in digital content credit or $5 in Amazon Pantry credit. A new No-Rush incentive of $3 general Amazon credit has started being offered for select shipments. This is a significantly better incentive, so be on the lookout when making orders. Remember, Amazon now has a dedicated page for your No-Rush Shipping Credit to keep track of those incentives.

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Amazon Prime Wardrobe lets you try on clothes for free before you buy

Amazon just announced a new service called Prime Wardrobe that lets you try on clothes before you buy them. Prime members can choose 3 or more items of clothing and Amazon will ship them to you free of charge. You then have 7 days to decide what you want to keep and ship back the clothing you don’t want with the included resealable box and return label. You can even schedule a UPS pickup and it’s all at no charge. All you pay for are the clothing items you decide to keep, and to encourage loading up your Prime Wardrobe order, Amazon is offering a 10% discount on the items you keep if you keep 3 or 4 clothing items. If you keep 5 or more, you’ll get a 20% discount on the entire order. Prime Wardrobe is currently in beta, but you can sign up to be notified when the service publicly launches.

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Amazon Dash Wand Review — What Alexa can and can’t do

When Amazon added Alexa capabilities to the Dash Wand, they instantly made a mostly forgotten device interesting again. At just $20, the Dash Wand is now the least expensive Alexa-enabled device Amazon makes, and it’s even more affordable for Prime members since they get a $20 credit when activating the device, making it essentially free. Since it wasn’t originally designed to be an Alexa device, there are limitations to its voice capabilities, compared to something like the Echo Dot. Here’s an overview of the Dash Wand, as well as a detailed look into what Alexa on it can and can’t do. Read more ›

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New Apps for the Week of June 11th thru the 17th

This week there were 21 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Fisher-Price has added support for their upcoming Think & Learn Smart Cycle Toy to the Fire TV 2 through the new Smart Cycle Mission Tech City app. If you like tech news and reviews, you should check out the new TechnoBuffalo app with all of their videos. Lastly, Ottplayer might interest some of you who want to watch m3U8 streaming video playlists. The app supports HLS, RTSP, TS by UDP, RTMP protocols. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Amazon has announced that it has agreed to acquire Whole Foods Market, the upscale grocery chain best known for its organic foods. Amazon has experimented with physical bookstores, a cashier-less convenience store, and grocery pickup locations, but this is by far their biggest push into offline retail. This acquisition gives Amazon over 460 stores in the United States, Canada and Britain. It should be interesting to see how Amazon incorporates their technological prowess into those stores.

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Amazon Channel subscriptions can now be used to activate streaming apps

Subscribing to a streaming service through Amazon Channels, as opposed to subscribing directly with the service itself, has certain advantages, such as a single place to manage subscriptions and better integration with the Amazon Fire TV. However, one big disadvantage has been the lack of access to standalone apps, like HBO Now and Showtime Anytime, when subscribing through Amazon Channels. That is starting to change because some services have started including Amazon Channels in their list of service providers that can be used to activate their standalone apps. Read more ›

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Sideclick Remote for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick is on sale for $24.99

For those of you who missed the Best Buy deal last week, or those who prefer to buy from Amazon, the Sideclick remote is currently on sale for $24.99 on Amazon. That’s $5 off the regular price of $29.99 and the second lowest price this remote has been. I’ve been a big fan of the Sideclick, ever since their successful Kickstarter campaign, and you can read my review of the Sideclick if you’d like. The Sideclick remote essentially is a strip of programmable buttons that attach to the side of a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick remote to turn it into a universal remote. Attachments for all Fire TV remote versions are included in the box.

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Amazon Echo & Echo Dot will soon use a yellow light to indicate unheard messages

When Amazon introduced their new calling and messaging features for Alexa devices, they selected a pulsing green light as the indicator of an unheard message waiting to be played. The issue with that is it’s very similar to the spinning green light that indicates a call is coming in, so it’s very easy to mistake one for the other.

Amazon will soon be resolving this by replacing the pulsing green message indicator light with a solid yellow light. Yellow is not used for any other Echo and Echo Dot light ring functionality, so it should be obvious that a new message is waiting, that is, now that you know what it means. If you see a yellow light ring, just say “Alexa, play my message” to hear the message. Amazon says this change will go into effect “in the coming weeks.”

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